November 8, 2009 at 10:33 PM CST - Updated June 21 at 10:16 AM
The Alabama Veterans Memorial Park may have hosted its last Veterans Day celebration Sunday unless more funding is found.
Beneath a beautiful fall sky, veterans and family members paused Sunday to remember their fallen brethren, including the 13 killed at Fort Hood this weekend.
"It's just something tragic," said veteran Gordon Seale. "It just shouldn't have happened. I don't know what possessed this major to do all of this and everything, it's just a bad bad tragedy."
Seale says he can't understand what would drive an army major to kill his fellow soldiers.
"I was proud of the soldier on this side of me and that side of me and in back of me, and I wouldn't have wanted nothing to harm my soldiers or comrades."
Seale and other veterans were able to put aside those thoughts of tragedy and enjoy this day of honor thanks to the Alabama Veterans Memorial Park, but that joy is in danger.
"Funding has been real hard to get these days," the park foundation's Executive Director Bob Mosca says. "You know, the city, the state the county and a lot of businesses are just not able to do what they used to do."
Mosca says even with an all volunteer staff, the park's funding is down 50%, and may have to close without major donations. As it is, the park is selling 5 acres of land along I-459 to try and bring in new funding.
"If you can help us we surely can, and really would appreciate it," Mosca said.
Those there Sunday understand something about cost, and it's reward.
"It's everything, it's our freedom," said park volunteer Ellen. "They've given us our freedom and they've sacrificed everything. Mot only the ones who didn't come back, but the ones who did come back. They have heavy burdens."
"It means a great deal to this area here," Seale said. "I'm glad it came to this part right by the interstate here. Because people can drive by and see what Alabama has done."